Massey University School of Aviation RPAS course

UAVNZ RPAS team at booth

Due to the rapid advancement in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) the School of Aviation at Massey University is offering a research based three-day course in RPAS. Successful outcomes from this course meet the initial training requirements for CAA Rule Part 102.

It is designed to meet CAA requirements for RPAS operators with little or no aviation experience who want to enter the industry or further develop their understanding of the use of RPAS in the aviation environment. The course is designed to bridge the gap between RPAS operators and aviators to enhance the safety of your operation. It delivers a syllabus centred around safe operating practices featuring hands-on scenarios and practical demonstrations by industry experts. Course participants will be challenged to resolve a number of scenarios directly pertinent to safe operation of RPAS.

The Massey University School of Aviation is a CAA Rule Part 141 Certified provider for both piloted and non-piloted training. This course has been developed by Flight Instructors who are experienced at introducing students to aviation. It is incorporated within the School’s Safety Management System (SMS).

Why do you need to do this course?

All Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) operations until recently have been governed by rules designed for model aircraft. These rules have been overseen by Model Flying NZ and intended for enthusiasts at model clubs where knowledge of these operating rules is required for membership. This has worked safely in the past. The increase in the availability of RPAS to a range of users, relatively few of whom are affiliated to these clubs, has seen a sharp increase in safety issues arising from a lack of awareness of these rules. 

Massey University School of Aviation flight instructors consulted with CAA, RPAS users and other manned airspace users for this course. The course is desinged to get participants really thinking about the airspace environment, other airspace users and most of all – safety.

Course Content

RPAS field

After successfully completing this course you will:

  • Interpret the various aviation documents and regulations and be able to apply these to your operation
  • Be able to identify threats to your operation and develop methods of mitigation
  • Understand the conduct required to operate an RPAS in accordance with aviation best practice
  • Practice and comprehend radio telephony procedures and operations
  • Submit as evidence of training from a Part 141-M6 training organisation for an RPAS Part 102 Operator Certificate

The course is led by Massey University flight instructors. You will be assessed via a series of multi-choice and short answer questions.

The course commences with two days of theory introducing students to aspects of the aviation environment particularly relevant to the operation of RPAS. This is  followed by a practicum/ flight examination on day three. Successful completion of all three parts will earn a Massey University Certificate of Competency - RPAS - Endorsed Multi-Rotor ("Wings Badge").

NB: To pass the RPAS flight examination candidates should be proficient in the operation of their RPAS device. The Massey University RPAS team therefore strongly encourages candidates to have gained as much practical flight experience with their RPAS as possible, especially in manual/altitude hold mode, prior to attending the Massey University RPAS flight examination on Day Three of the course.

New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture

Massey University's Centre for Precision Agriculture (NZCPA) is an expert in remote sensing using UAV and other remotely piloted systems. The Centre's UAVs and sensor systems are some of the most advanced in the world. They have dedicated UAVs and pasture meters and we are the only organisation outside Europe and   the Americas using the Fenix Hyperspectral Imaging System.

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